Knicks Preview: 5 Keys to Defeating the Charlotte Hornets

3 of 6

Nov 11, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum (5) prepares to pass as he is defended by New York Knicks guard Landston Galloway (2) during the first half of the game at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

4. Contain Nicolas Batum

The first time around, Nicolas Batum took over against the New York Knicks. In the two games that have followed for the Charlotte Hornets, Batum has only gotten better.

On both ends of the floor, Arron Afflalo and Carmelo Anthony must limit Batum’s footprint.

Batum opened the season by increasing his scoring total in four straight games. Since putting up just eight points on November 5, he’s improved his output in five consecutive outings.

That progressive improvement includes 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting against the Knicks on November 11.

In the two games since he torched New York, Batum has scored 28 and 33 points, respectively. In other words, he’s not slowing down and is as much of a threat as ever to the Knicks’ chances of winning.

If New York is to come away victorious, Afflalo’s defense and Anthony’s offense must match Batum’s capabilities.

Next: 28 to 7